Monday, March 3, 2014

The Questions Nobody Asks of Arab World or Human Rights Activists...

Here's a question nobody asks of those spewing BDS hate accusations of rhetoric of apartheid, genocide & occupation:

How is that in the evil genocidal Zionist regime of Israel, Israeli Arabs are full citizens of a democracy - the sole democracy in the Middle East? These Israeli Arab citizens grandparents chose not to heed the call of their Arab leaders in 1948 to leave the area' temporarily' - today their children and grandchildren are the 1.6 million Israeli Arab population which stand alone out of 330,000,000 Arabs across the Middle East with rights that the Arab Spring sadly failed to grant anyone else.

Meanwhile while Israeli Arabs flourish within Israel society (despite some obvious inequalities both geographic and cultural), their Palestinian cousins live in squalid refugee camps in every Arab state, absurdly & disgracefully denied citizenship of the countries their parents & grandparents were born in. In some places such as Lebanon they are denied higher education - in fact it is illegal for them to even hold or
be trained for 'professional posts'!

When you hear words like apartheid & genocide thrown at Israel, look how the Arab world treats Palestinians & look how Israel treats its Arab citizens. Ask yourself honestly where the racism and apartheid really is manifest in the Middle East. Then ask yourself how, when this is so damnably obvious, the international media doesn't report this ongoing crime against humanity! How are highly educated college professors ignorant and silent on the Arab world's treatment of Palestinians (while they feel able to accuse Israel of apartheid & genocide against all facts or logic)? How are those "human rights" activists who are prepared to sail to Gaza out of love for Palestinians, totally silent in the face of dozens of states abuse of the same people?

Israel shouldn't need to defend against absurd accusations of genocide and racism, especially coming from the very Arab states who have committed those very crimes against Palestinians for the past 70 years. Israel's actions toward its 20% minority population as compared to theirs against their own Palestinians, speaks louder than any words. 

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Palestinians deprive their own people of clean water for propaganda...and the world accepts it !

Last week's brouhaha in the Israeli parliament caused by European Parliament President Martin Schulz erroneous claim,  during a guest speech in The Knesset, that Palestinians living in the West Bank are allotted one-fourth of the amount of water that Israelis are allotted is a perfect example of all that is wrong in the world discussions and activism around the Palestinian  / Israeli conflict. I have always said that this is a complicated nuanced situation, which is not helped by the vast amount of misinformation and incitement pouring from the Palestinian side, accepted as truth by a world eager to believe the "under dog". Water is a perfect example:

Schulz was wrong - of that there is no question - and he has  accepted that believing a Palestinian youth he had met that day without checking the information was a mistake but I do not think the Palestinian youth believed he was lying and I would guess that most ordinary Palestinians believe exactly what Schulz's anonymous source had told him, but what is the truth? What are the facts? If we can't get to the reality to a situation, how are we going to be able to find real solutions?

First, lets be clear - Palestinians do not get as much water as Israelis, including those living in Judea / Samaria aka The West bank, but much of this is of their own causing as I will show below: On the positive side Israel has ensured that Palestinian water quality and quantity has improved dramatically since the area came under Israeli control in 1967, and  Palestinians have far better water supplies than the vast majority of people who live in most of the regions Arab nations. Israel is supplying the PA with more than 50 m.c.m. or 25% of its total needs – which, under the  Oslo Accords, is more than Israel is supposed to provide even a full-fledged Palestinian state under a final-status arrangement! 

Part of the problem with Palestinian water comes from the inefficiency and corruption of the Palestinian Authority and in part from the political desire to keep the issue as a weapon to beat at Israel, regardless of the suffering it causes the Palestinian people  - for example the PA has built just one sewage plant over the past 15 years, despite  a $500 million international donor fund available to them to build more. There are plans for building purification plants in several major Palestinian towns such as Hebron, Bethlehem and Nablus, paid for by donor countries, but the Palestinians have decided that they don’t want to build in the Oslo defined Areas A and B under their control, but only in Area C (which is under full Israeli military, and administrative control). Israel has stringent regulations for these and similar projects in other parts of Israel which the Palestinians have no interest in complying with ( and wouldn't have to in areas A & B) so they have built none of these plants. Where Israel has made an effort to help with West bank sewage treatment, such as the Wadi Kana trunk sewage pipe designed collect and recycle waste water from Palestinians and Jewish communities in parts of the disputed territories, the PA has refused to cooperate and hasn't connected the 11 Palestinian towns in the area to this new sewage line, preferring to dump raw sewage in the ground causing totally unnecessary environmental issues in their territory.

So are the Palestinians really short of water as they claim? Certainly they are correct that Israel has finally got enough water for its own purposes, after its world leading desalinization plants & water recycling technology has drastically reduced Israel's dependency on the Sea of Galilee  The Palestinians for their part have the large Eastern aquifer given entirely over for their use by Israel as part of the Oslo accords, which inexplicably they have barely begun to tap into and which should be producing at least another 60 m.c.m. per year. More than half the approved wells have not even been started by the PA, again despite international funding sitting waiting. 

In the meantime, the Palestinian Authority does give its tacit and unsubtle approval of the illegal tapping of pipes into Israel's primary water lines, stealing a massive amount of  water and connecting it directly into the PA water system. In 2012 the IDF discovered hundreds of these illegal connections to the main Mekorot pipeline. Cutting this supply line adds to the impression of Palestinians, reinforced culpably by the Palestinian Authority's propaganda machine (known derisively as Pallywood) that evil Israel is depriving ordinary Palestinians of their water, when in fact a  study by Professor Haim Gvirtzman in 2012 of Hebrew University’s Hydrology Studies Program, showed that 10 million cubic meters of Israel's water is being stolen each  year as a result of this Palestinian state-sanctioned theft ( which they also do not factor into their water statistics they send to international bodies and media.).

We must bear in mind that not only has Israel been meeting its international obligations under the 1995 Oslo accords, but consequently every Israeli pays far more for his or her water because Palestinians receive their water from Israel at a discount price and steal a huge amount more. On top of this  PA often reneges on its commitment to pay for the water it receives legally from Israel, partly to maintain the water filled political football and partly because funds donated (or raised from taxes)  to pay for water has inexplicably disappeared, presumably  into private bank accounts.  

The bottom line - Palestinian Authority has created a water crisis, and it sells this to the world as Israel starving the poor underdog Palestinians  of water - typical of apartheid Zionism. This fits into the Pallywood narrative but at what cost? What it needs is well intentioned leaders such as Martin Schulz to call Abbas on this deception - this would take at least one myth off the table. Again - we need to be talking about the REAL issues and not these Pallywood inventions. World leaders know what is happening even if the rabid boycott haters do not. It is for them to look at the facts, and tell the PA that it just won't wash. Do this with each myth and we'll be talking genuine solutions - finally.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Obama & Kerry's Meddling in Israeli / Palestinian Situation is The Diplomatic Equivalent of Medical Malpractice and here's why....

Imagine a doctor, confronted with a patient suffering from chronic sciatica, a gun shot wound, and a serious concussion, who decided to put all his effort into treating the sciatica. I'm assuming that he would eventually lose his license to practice medicine, after correct prioritizing is the essential basis of triage! 

Now consider President Obama and his Secretary of State John Kerry, surveying the Middle East with a quarter million dead in Syria; Iranian aspirations to rule Mid destabilizes the region, and threatening both Israel & The US; Lebanon teetering on the edge of civil war; Egypt crushing democracy; 330,000,000 Arabs across the Mid East denied basic democratic rights; and women in several countries treated to laws more severe than apartheid S.Africa ever imagined - what problem do they choose to devote their effort and resources? The Palestinian Israel conflict! Yes, like sciatica it is a painful and long term issue, which needs careful treatment and pain management, but in the face of potentially fatal wounds, to focus on Israel / Palestinian issue constitutes nothing short of  incompetence. 

In fact given that any Palestinian solution must involve the entire region for it to have any meaning or hope of success, Kerry's efforts are doomed to failure, where as intervention in Syria could save lives and in Egypt could steer the interim government to develop democratic institutes. A firm hand with Iran could have more positive effect on the region & Palestinians than any protracted fruitless peace talks - simply making it harder for Iran to fund and resupply Hamas and Hezbollah  would achieve that.

It appears that Obama and Kerry are simply trying to look like they are doing something important, to hide their impotence to deal with the wider Mid East issues, which lets be honest, Obama's mishandling from the day he arrived in office has been a major contributing factor. Their incompetent meddling - and lets remind ourselves that if they were doctors and the Region their patient, they'd be fired by their hospital by now - is very likely to lead to a resurgence in violence, even a third intifada. Nobody in Israel or Palestinian society benefits from that, yet Kerry is pushing. Abbas knows he can't make peace now, Hamas knows this too, as does the Israeli government, so what is this about? Its about President Obama and John Kerry's reputations, nothing more and that is - its malpractice! 

Monday, February 3, 2014

The Boycott SodaStream . Oxfam Debacle has backfired on the BDS Movement Exposing its Platform of Hypocrisy & Hatred That Hurts Palestinians Most Of All

Lets examine the facts: Sodastream is an alternative to Coke & Pepsi, and other carbonated bottled drinks, but for obvious reasons it is far more environmentally friendly - for one thing you reuse the bottles so far  less plastic manufacturing takes place! In fact the Carbon footprint of Sodastream is as much as 80% better than Coke or Pepsi.

What about social action? We've all heard that Sodastream is an" Israeli settler company", so you could easily assume that its good for Israelis and bad for least that's the knee jerk stupidity that Israel boycotts peddle - its what they hope the average person worldwide, not prejudiced but not well informed either, will think. What is disturbing is that organizations such as Oxfam don't seem able to see the difference between genuine campaigns for peace and dialogue in the MidEast and the Israel delegitimization BDS movement, based on a one sided hatred of Israel or worse, on antisemitism.  Sodastream may be based in a Jewish settlement in Judea aka The West Bank, but it employees hundreds of Palestinians who are paid above Israel's national average. These people work alongside Jewish Israelis in good conditions, have stable employment and have spoken out against the anti Sodastream publicity. BDS would have us believe that the mere presence of Jews in Judea is an obstacle to peace - they are advocating a population removal, an ethnic cleansing of Jews from their ancestral homeland, a place where Jews had lived uninterrupted for at least 2500 years until ethnically cleansed by Jordan  just 70 years ago. It is obscene to support the blatant racist policy of the Palestinian Authority "not one Jew" and yet the Boycott movement does exactly that, supported apparently by Oxfam and even the EU! 

If we are serious about talking peace between Israel & Palestinians, then living & working alongside each other is surely the best way to create mutual respect. Allowing Palestinians to have a share in the success of Israel, creating jobs, boosting the Palestinian economy and having arabs and Israelis interact and see each other colleagues rather than enemies, is surely something Oxfam and the entire "peace movement" should be applauding. If a Swedish firm were to attempt to establish an environmentally friendly company employing hundreds of arabs and Jews to work together in WB, I'm sure Oxfam would support it.

If the BDS movement had its way, the already awful unemployment in Palestinian world would be far worse, because any effort to create positive working bonds and financial interdependence between Israel & Palestinians would not be allowed. The result of their policy is poverty and anger, and that anger is inflamed by the constant incitement of the Palestinian Authority directing it at the evil Zionists. On a larger scale the Palestinian refugees have been kept trapped, stateless, without a future by the entire arab world for 70 years. By any normal moral situation these people would be citizens of the states they, and their parents have been born in, as with any other refugee population, but they are trapped in refugee camps, and in poverty, all the time being told the evil Zionists who stole their country are to blame. 

The world is complicit in this crime against humanity - humanitarian groups such as Oxfam supporting BDS are inf act supporting Palestinian poverty and incitement to violence, which is perpetuating their situation. On a regional scale the UN through the UNHRW has perpetuated Palestinian refugees farce for 3 generations. Simply look at its mission as compared to the UNHCR which has handled every single other refugee crisis since WW2 and you can see why the Palestinians are still refugees. This was obvious even in 1958 as the quote shows. The Palestinians are pawns of their Arab Brothers & the anti Israel movement, their future hope traded against Arab League policy & dominance of the UN, and the willingness & prejudice of "pro" Palestinians in the BDS movement to support the cause, even though while BDS irritates Israel, it destroys Palestinian lives.

Its time this farce - this crime against humanity -  ended and influential people and organizations give serious thought as to how to build Palestinian economic situation in West Bank through cooperation, and how to offer them citizenship and a future in the countries the refugees were born in. Perhaps they'll turn it down, out of Palestinian national pride, but I think the vast majority will grab it with both hands.

The Sodastream / Scarlett Johansson debacle, aside from no doubt giving Sodastream the best PR imaginable, to the chagrin of Coke & Pepsi, has finally shed a bright beam of light on the nasty side of the anti Israel movement - BDS. While that beam still shines lets tell the world that both Palestinians and Israelis deserve better than the hatred of the boycott / delegitimization movement. They deserve honest people, who care about peace not about making Israel suffer for being a Jewish state. 

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Obama / Kerry Peace Effort Will Bring Suffering to Israel & Palestinians & a Nobel Prize to Kerry.

In September 2000, when Ariel Sharon - then opposition leader - made a visit to the Temple Mount in Jerusalem's Old City, Arafat  used it as an excuse to start the 2nd Intifada, an orgy of terror attacks on civilians on buses, at restaurants and other public places. Israel suffered two years an almost daily version of the July 7th London
bombings until the much maligned security barrier and check points ended the suicide bombings. The context of the Second Intifada, which Arafat's widow has admitted was pre-planned  after the failure of the Camp David Summit, was used by Arafat to deflect the frustration of the Palestinian street from the reality that once again their own leader's intransigence had stolen a clear opportunity for them to build an independent future for themselves - it directed their anger and frustration at Israel. The truth is that pushing the Palestinian leaders toward a two state final agreement was a disaster waiting to happen - it never took into Arafat's inability to deliver an agreement to a Palestinian people, who had had decades of intense propaganda and incitement by those same leaders telling the Palestinians that they would accept all or nothing - eventually all of Israel would be Palestine - the end of Zionism - the end of Jews on Muslim soil. What Camp David offered was basically the partition plan that the Arab world had rejected in 1947. Worse, Arafat knew that the Palestinian refugees, living across the Arab World, could not be allowed to emigrate to this new Palestinian state, as it would be unable to cope with the massive influx.  These 'refugees' have been kept stateless for 70 years by the entire Arab world - with the UN complicit in this crime against humanity - as political pawns. He could never admit publicly that their mutli-generational refugee ordeal, unheard of in modern human history, would be for nothing, so he  pushed Israel over a "Law of Return" he himself knew he would never want enacted not would he honor. So Arafat sabotaged the talks, and started a terror war that set peace back until today, causing death and horror on the Israeli side & untold misery and even deeper anger (directed of course to the evil Zionists) on the Palestinian side.

Jump forward to 2013/14 and little has changed, in fact it is certainly far harder for today's Palestinian leadership to contemplate a final agreement with Israel than it was in Arafat / Clinton's time -   Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas is a far weaker figure than Arafat was; the Palestinians are split between two factions (Fatah in the WBank and  Hamas in Gaza) and the wider region is in turmoil, with regimes like Iraq, Syria, Egypt, Lebanon etc teetering on the brink while  Iran manipulates the Arab world through terrorists proxies like Hamas & Hezbollah. In 2014 the is no deeply respected King Abdulah of Jordan, or Hosni Mubarak at the height of his power in Egypt - there are few if any respected Arab leaders that can offer the support Abbas would need to make a Palestinian state and any agreement with Israel  work.

Despite this obvious fact, which all of us here in Israel, left & right, seem aware of, Sec. Kerry - obviously with Pres. Obama's full support - is pushing  the Palestinians very hard to come to an agreement that they simply cannot agree to at this time. For one thing Netanyahu is determined that if there is to be an agreement it will be the final one between Israel and the Palestinians, and is demanding Abbas recognize Israel as a Jewish state - which would once and for all would end Palestinian claims to the rest of Israel, while the Palestinians are being told by their leaders that any agreement is merely a tactic to get them closer to Tel Aviv being part of Palestine. The Arab League, who have used Palestinians as their pawns for 70 years, have told Abbas this is unacceptable.  Meanwhile despite the pressure, Abbas is now openly stating that there won't be an agreement, and the Pallywood machinery is firing up to  explain why failure will be Israel's fault. The truth is, Abbas cannot come to an agreement, the Palestinian people are not ready for an agreement - decades of incitement by the PA, being told they will one day own Tel Aviv which continues even as these talks go on, means the Palestinian street will see any agreement along "two states"  as a terrible failure, even a second Nakba. Abbas hasn't the authority to stand against that, not with Hamas waiting to exploit the anger to its own ends, in accordance with the needs of Hamas's Iranian backers. Kerry seems oblivious to this.

There is only one direction this can take the Palestinians - toward violence. Already we are seeing absurd news stories sweep the arab world, claiming thousands of Israelis have stormed the Dome of the Rock - if Ariel Sharon going there in 2002 could spark a Palestinian uprising, what could a story like this do ? The vilification of Israel will be stepped up, but behind it will be violence and more misery. This will be Obama & Kerry's legacy in  the region as much as the second intifada is Arafat's legacy. The sad truth is that the Arab propaganda machine,  combined with the Muslim states who have the UN emasculated, and the western Liberal's knee jerk "evil Israel" attitude  will find a way to ignore Obama & Kerry's foolishness at forcing this situation, and Abba's clear intransigence (for all the reasons above), and they will blame Israel yet again.  People will die because of this, lives will be wrecked on both sides and Kerry could well claim a Nobel prize for a peace effort that was doomed to fail from the start.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Jesus The Palestinian

As a religious Jew, it is not often that I write about Jesus, so what has sparked this evangelical fervor in a good Jewish boy? As it is approaching Christmas i thought this was the ideal time to right about the revisionist swill being sold to the world as Palestinian history:

There exists a very real “history war” whereby Jewish history is being erased and replaced with an invented Palestinian history by the well funded  Pallywood  propaganda machine. In recent years, they have invented  the  oft repeated lie that "Jesus was a Palestinian":

‘We must not forget that Messiah [Jesus] is a Palestinian, the son of Mary the Palestinian.’ [Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Nov. 18, 2005] 

"Jesus was Palestinian and why it matters" Jehanzeb Dar Published 25/12/2010  

Lets use a little critical analysis of this nonsense: First there can be no question that Jesus was born and lived as a Jew (perhaps even a Rabbi). I doubt you'll find a single Christian scholar who would argue this point, which means that the Palestinian propagandists, who try so hard to eliminate the Jewish connection to the Holy Land, are essentially conceding that the original Palestinians were Jews! In fact the Pallywood lie machine ignores the fact that it was the Roman's who changed the name of Judea to Palestine, and they did this around 140 years AFTER Jesus died, which means he was a Judean  - an important point as that name is why we are called Jews to this day! 

Let's look at 3 places closely associated with Jesus: Nazareth, Bethlehem and Jerusalem:
The first 2 are closely associated with the arab communities today: Nazareth where he grew up is today a major Israeli-Arab city although in Jesus's time it was a small Jewish community in the Galilee where his Jewish mother Mary had grown up (Mary is actually anglicized from the Jewish name Miriam - very popular among Jews then and now as it had been the name of Moses's sister but not a common  Muslim or Arab name); 

Bethlehem is just 3 miles south of Jerusalem and is where Jesus was born according to the Christian bible. It is a city which hosted a strong and important Jewish community for many centuries: It was the biblical Ephrata (called Bethlehem Ephrata in the book of Micha) where Jacob buried his beloved wife Rachel, it was the home of Jesse, father of David as well as the prophet Samuel. The Jews were ethnically cleansed from Bethlehem after the Bar Kochba revolution. Incidentally, Bethlehem was for many centuries a majority Christian Arab city until a Muslim Palestinian influx during mandate times, and later the Palestinian Authority has made life there very uncomfortable for Christians who are leaving in large numbers.

Jerusalem, the 3rd city associated with Jesus, was the home of The Jewish Temple which stood many centuries before Islam was created until it was destroyed by the Romans after Jesus's death, on the spot where today stands the Al Aqsa Mosque. The entire city was devoted to serving the Temple, and the ancient parts of this city still show many signs from that period, including the Western Wall, the only remaining structure from the Temple itself, and the Holiest Jewish site in the world.

We don't need to be biblical scholars to see from this that the land Jesus walked through was a Jewish land, even with its Roman overlords at that time, and the looming exile of the Jews that would occur a few decades later. If Jesus was a Palestinian, then the true Palestinians & real the indigenous people of Israel - were and are the Jewish people.

The Palestinians crudely and blatantly invent a Palestinian history that distorts and insults Christian & Jewish belief,  as they are basically saying  our bible lies - this would  cause riots if it was said about the Koran!  What this kind of revisionist propaganda actually reveals, is the Palestinians sparsity of connection with this land as opposed to the deep and obvious 3000 year Jewish history in Israel.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Why Does Israel call Obama's Offer to Iran a "Bad Deal"

The purpose of the world imposing crippling sanctions against Iran since 2006 has been very clear indeed - to end the Ayatollah's regime's efforts to develop nuclear weapons & long range delivery missiles:

  • United Nations Security Council Resolution 1696 – passed on 31 July 2006. Demanded that Iran suspend all enrichment-related and reprocessing activities and threatened sanctions.
  • United Nations Security Council Resolution 1737 – passed on 23 December 2006 in response to the proliferation risks presented by the Iranian nuclear program and, in this context, by Iran's continuing failure to meet the requirements of the International Atomic Energy Agency Board of Governors and to comply with the provisions of Security Council resolution 1696 (2006). Made mandatory for Iran to suspend enrichment-related and reprocessing activities and cooperate with the IAEA, imposed sanctions banning the supply of nuclear-related materials and technology, and froze the assets of key individuals and companies related to the program.
  • United Nations Security Council Resolution 1747 – passed on 24 March 2007. Imposed an arms embargo and expanded the freeze on Iranian assets.
  • United Nations Security Council Resolution 1803 – passed on 3 March 2008. Extended the asset freezes and called upon states to monitor the activities of Iranian banks, inspect Iranian ships and aircraft, and to monitor the movement of individuals involved with the program through their territory.
  • United Nations Security Council Resolution 1835 – Passed in 2008.
  • United Nations Security Council Resolution 1929 – passed on 9 June 2010. Banned Iran from participating in any activities related to ballistic missiles, tightened the arms embargo, travel bans on individuals involved with the program, froze the funds and assets of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard and Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines, and recommended that states inspect Iranian cargo, prohibit the servicing of Iranian vessels involved in prohibited activities, prevent the provision of financial services used for sensitive nuclear activities, closely watch Iranian individuals and entities when dealing with them, prohibit the opening of Iranian banks on their territory and prevent Iranian banks from entering into relationship with their banks if it might contribute to the nuclear program, and prevent financial institutions operating in their territory from opening offices and accounts in Iran.

  • These sanctions have finally worked - they have brought Iran very reluctantly to the negotiating table and there has never been any question what Iran would have do to see the sanctions lifted - cease Uranium enrichment, and R &D into long range ICBM's. The Iranians more new and more pragmatic president knows that Iran needs to be able to export its oil freely, and to re-enter the world economy before the pressure on the state causes it to crack. So why has the West, led by President Obama and John Kerry, proposed a deal that would not involve dismantling the 18000 centrifuges in Iran, nor access to the Military bases where ICBMs are stationed, it will not stop their enrichment to weapon grade Uranium .. its  a BAD DEAL declares Israel's Prime Minister & Frances president - worse, its allowing the success of sanctions to be turned into a failure - an appeasement of a scale we have not seen since Chamberlain returned from meeting with Hitler declaring "peace in our time" on the eve of World War two.

    Lets remember a few truths - nobody needs weapons grade uranium except for weapons of mass destruction; Iran has no need for its growing arsenal of ICBMs in order to threaten Israel as it has missiles capable of reaching Tel Aviv - the only reason it would want ICBM's would be to threaten or attack further afield: Europe & The US. Put those two capabilities together & this bad deal will leave the entire world within reach of the ayatollahs & their Jihadist terror supporting regime - Iran's terror network includes Hamas and Hezbollah, it has been implicit in terror events worldwide - this is the state Obama is appeasing - it isn't just the Israeli people he is failing, it is the people of American as well. It's a bad deal - any moron can see that!